Monday, December 15, 2008

Being A Slave To Depression

I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" Saturday night on WLBT. It is a Christmas classic and each time I watch it, I see or hear something different.

You know the story line, George Bailey is living the high life with a beautiful family and successful banking career. Then he gets blamed when $8,000 is found missing at his bank. He knows he is about to be run out of town by the sheriff and auditors. He goes to the local watering hole, gets in a fight, has a wreck, and thinks all is lost. He goes to a bridge with the intention of committing suicide. That's when Clarence the angel shows up to teach George how life would be dramatically different if he weren't alive--all while trying to earn his own angel wings.

After the births of my children, I went through horrible cases of the baby blues or post partum depression...whatever you want to call it. I tried my best to hide it from everyone around me because I'm normally a happy person. I didn't like being in public, I shuttered at the thought of going back to work and being picked apart again, I hated who I was. On many occasions, I would often wonder 'What would happen if I just started walking and didn't come back?' I didn't want anyone to find me and I didn't need sympathy. I just wanted to disappear and it seemed like a better option than living.

1 Corinthians 7:23 says "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men." When we get down and out because of the circumstances surrounding us, we have become a slave to those thoughts, those words, those people, those choices. When we let those things control our emotions and how we feel, we have become their slave.

I am not belittling depression. I believe it is real and affects people in different ways. Getting into the Word will get anybody out of that "funk". When the Bible says that Jesus is the Great Physician, it doesn't mean He can just heal the body---Jesus can heal the whole being. If He couldn't do such and only specialized in one part of the body, then He wouldn't be referred to as 'Great', now would He?

However, I believe if God tells us not to become slaves of men, then He is the one who can set us free from depression, oppression and recession!


K Storm said...

Great post...good reminder.

Stacey said...

I love your posts, but this is a subject I feel very strongly about. The attitude that depression is an indication of a lack of faith is a very dangerous one.

When I was 21, I had severe depression, to the point of self-injury. I saw a doctor and got some medication and was starting to do much better. I talked to my church's associate pastor who told me that this was something I didn't need medication for, I just needed to be "in the Word" and I needed to pray more. I trusted him and weaned myself off of my medication and started to pray more and more.

I started reading the Bible and praying a LOT more. Praying fervently, begging God to take these feelings away from me. I also quit my job, started sleeping most of the day, and spent a good bit of the night trying to keep myself away from the knives in the kitchen. One night, I broke a razor open and started making little cuts in my arm. (It wasn't a suicide attempt - self injury is something much different.) My husband found it the next morning and we got into a big fight and I told him to divorce me, that he deserved better. He told me no way, that he married me for better or for worse, and that I needed to go back and talk to a doctor.

I did, and got some proper medication, and again, felt MUCH better.

Depression is every bit as physical a condition as a broken leg, and every bit as dangerous if not medically treated. You can sit at home and pray that God heals your leg and takes away the pain, or you can go to the emergency room and get a cast and take some Tylenol.

Depression doesn't indicate a lack of faith, and an abundance of faith will not take away depression. Sometimes, a situational change can bring relief to situational SADNESS, but that is not depression. Depression is a clinical condition and should be treated with medicine AND faith.

Anonymous said...

Stacey, I don't believe Barbie was stateing that people who have depression are lacking in faith. Depression is real, but she states that with God's help, anything is possible, even the healing of the mind. Whether God does that through medication or whether He uses other means, praise be to him!

Kathleen said...

Barbie...Thanks so much for your post. I also suffered greatly from postpartum depression. Thirteen years ago when I had my son, everyone told me it was in "my head". This subject is very real for me.
I also believe that Barbie makes the point that being in the Word helps us get through many tribulations in life including depression.

With the help of a physician that would finally listen to me and started medication, I felt better after about 6 months. I wish all new moms were given information about this topic. Just think of the hormone fluctation going on after birth!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I have been batteling post partum depression myself, only no one will call it that. I had a miscarriage, so technically I guess I can't have "post partum" since I didn't give birth. I feel exactly the way you described. I did go to my doctor and get on medication (ABSOLUTELY the wrong choice for ME personally) It carried so many side effects and when I stopped taking it I started going through terrible withdrawals....I still have the depression (the medication wasn't helping anyway), but with the Lord's help I am getting through it, and the more I find myself seeking God the more I find myself being less depressed (and the more I find the withdrawals from the medication leaving my body) God IS the great physician, he is healing me physically and mentally.
I think that is where some people get confused, they think if the healing or deliverance isn't immediate, then it isn't happening, sometimes God choosed to heal immediately, somtimes he uses doctor's to heal, sometimes he takes a few steps at a time...I don't know why he doesn't choose to instantly heal everything all at once, but it isn't my place to question him...Praise God he is healing me...

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